What guidance is determining how campus will reopen?
Bard’s reopening plan is informed by current national, regional, and local conditions and best public health practices. We are following New York State guidance, which includes specific mandates for higher education, and guidance from the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health.
The College has a formal agreement with Nuvance Health, one of the largest health care providers in the region, and with them, is designing and implementing detailed protocols for testing and screening, daily monitoring of symptoms, contact tracing, quarantine practices, and physical distancing in the classroom and across the Bard campus. Bard has also signed a contract with The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for its Safe for School testing program. The Broad Institute has been at the forefront of developing and providing cutting-edge COVID-19 testing and has created this program specifically designed for higher education. Our Health Services Team is following guidance from the American College Health Association and is in close contact with local and regional health officials.
When should students plan to arrive on campus?
We are staggering arrival dates and moving much of the arrival documentation online to allow for appropriate physical distancing during move-in. The College is preparing to welcome first-year students between August 4–7 and returning students and new transfers between August 20–30. All students are asked to avoid large gatherings and practice physical distancing for at least two weeks before traveling to Bard. All students—whether they plan to live on or off campus—must select an arrival date and time for staggered arrival. Please complete the appropriate form below.
How many people can I bring with me for move-in day?
New students will be allowed two people to accompany them when they arrive to move in and we ask that returning students bring just one person to help them move in. Physical distancing protocols will be in place and everyone must wear a face mask.
Do I need to get tested for COVID-19 before coming to campus?
On the advice of our partners at Nuvance Health, Bard has instituted a requirement for all students to take a COVID-19 (PCR) test within five days prior to their arrival and to present proof of a negative test before they arrive. Positive antibody testing is not considered a negative COVID test result and cannot be submitted in place of a negative test result. Students who are able to get a test and result within five days prior to arrival should submit that result to email@example.com. Between the time of the test and arriving on campus, it is important that students adhere to safe behaviors: no large gatherings, wear a mask, and practice physical distancing.
Please contact your primary care physician or county department of public health to identify a local testing center in your area. Some testing centers may require reservations, so please factor this and time to receive your results into your travel and arrival plans. Most private insurance plans will cover the cost of these tests. Bard student insurance will also cover the cost of prearrival testing when using an approved lab with a prescription. For information on student insurance call 800-734-9326.
What if I can’t get tested before arriving on campus, or my test is positive?
With the increasing scarcity of tests and expanding wait times for results in some areas, students who are unable to get a test before travel will have the option to get tested as soon as they arrive on campus.
Students who arrive still awaiting test results will be required to shelter in place in an assigned room on campus and participate in all academic activities remotely until they receive their test result. The College will arrange for food and package delivery during this time.
Students who are unable to provide negative test results within five days prior to their arrival should contact Bard Health Services at 845-758-7433 or firstname.lastname@example.org about arrangements for returning to campus. Students who test positive for COVID-19 should refrain from traveling; they will not be allowed to return to Bard until they have produced a negative test.
Do I need to quarantine when I arrive on campus?
Three populations of students will have to be quarantined upon arrival to the area, as noted below. Any on-campus student who is able to independently complete their required quarantine before arriving on campus should plan to do so.
- Students traveling from restricted locations. New York State is requiring anyone entering the state from abroad or from states with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for 14 days. The list of restricted states changes daily, so please check to see if your state is listed before planning to travel. New York State regulations require the full 14 days of quarantine for those traveling from restricted locations, even if a student receives a negative COVID test result while in quarantine.
- Students unable to get tested before traveling to Bard. The College will provide tests to these students as soon as they arrive. They will be required to quarantine until they receive a negative test result. If they originally traveled from a nonrestricted location, they will be released from quarantine upon receiving a negative test result.
- Students who get tested before traveling to Bard but do not receive their test result in time to travel to Bard. They will be required to quarantine until receiving their test result. If they originally traveled from a nonrestricted location, they will be released from quarantine upon receiving a negative test result.
Where will students quarantine if they need to?
In consultation with Nuvance Health, we are setting aside appropriate spaces on campus for quarantine and self-isolation as needed. We are also making arrangements with off-site locations to ensure we have adequate spaces for all arriving students who will need to quarantine. Students living on campus will quarantine in one of the spaces Bard is arranging. Students living off campus will need to quarantine off campus. We will be in close contact with all students about specific plans and requirements.
How do I inform Bard of my arrival/quarantine plans?
Returning students who are living on campus should fill out the move-in and arrival form HERE as soon as possible. There is a place on the form where you can outline your off-campus quarantine plan, if you are planning to independently complete your quarantine before arriving on campus.
Off-campus students should fill out the arrival form HERE as soon as possible to provide us with their addresses and arrival information. The college will provide detailed instructions to all students who will need to quarantine as we finalize our plans.
Who do I contact with questions about quarantining?
Questions regarding individual plans for quarantine can be directed to Darnell Pierce, assistant dean of students and director of the first-year experience, email@example.com.
What are the requirements for traveling to or in New York State?
We ask that you abide by all state requirements when traveling to or in New York. For more information about New York State’s approach to reopening, please check the New York Forward website.
When will the fall semester end? When should I plan to travel home?
Fall 2020 classes will meet without any scheduled interruption through November 20 and the start of the Thanksgiving break. We expect that many students, faculty, and staff will want to travel over the holiday. For those choosing to travel at this time, Bard’s prohibition on nonemergency travel will be modified. Students who travel over Thanksgiving break will not be able to return to campus for the remainder of the semester. This includes regional and local travel to gatherings with family or friends. If you normally live on campus and spend the night elsewhere and with others—even locally—for the holiday, you cannot return to campus after Thanksgiving. There will be no penalty, academically or otherwise, for students who choose to travel and complete the semester remotely. Tuition and room adjustments will not be made for those students completing their coursework remotely following the holiday.
Employees who travel over Thanksgiving break must abide by the travel policy and restrictions set forth on the Human Resources website and in accordance with New York State, paying particular attention to the NYS list of restricted travel states. Guidelines about hosting holiday gatherings locally will be provided to all employees.
Students are welcome to stay on campus at Thanksgiving and remain on their meal plans for the duration of the semester (through December 21). After the break, Kline Dining Commons will remain open, student services offices will be open for student support, and classes will continue on their regular schedule until the end of the semester on December 18.
The majority of classes will continue remotely after the holiday, and paths to remote instruction will be available for all students who leave at Thanksgiving break and need to complete the semester remotely. The Dean’s office has asked faculty to provide details about their post-Thanksgiving teaching plans to their respective students. The Dean of Students office will also be reaching out to students about their end-of-semester plans, and to assist those who need to stay on campus through next semester.
Will classes still be online in the fall?
We will offer a combination of online, in-person, and blended learning in the fall.
How can I find out which fall classes will be taught online?
We encourage all students to review the updated course list where fully remote courses are clearly identified, and be in touch with their advisers and professors with any questions.
Can I continue with remote-only learning if I want to?
Only as an exception. The College is finalizing a system for students to apply for exceptional remote learning status through the academic executive committee. Our primary concern is that students follow a course of study that makes sense for their academic progress. Faculty advising and the support of the deans in the Center for Student Life and Advising are critical to ensuring students have a successful and productive semester. Online learning in undergraduate education at Bard is a path of last resort.
If a student gets ill or returns home, they will be able to continue learning remotely. We will not penalize students for having to move online. Students will still be expected to continue to fully engage in their classes.
International students who cannot travel to Bard for the start of the semester may enroll in Bard’s online courses from their home countries.
If a student gets ill or returns home, will they be able to continue learning remotely?
Yes. We will not penalize students for having to move online. Students will still be expected to continue to fully engage in their classes.
Are visitors allowed on campus?
No outside visitors will be allowed in Bard's campus buildings, including dormitories, until New York State and public health authorities curtail mandated health and physical distancing restrictions.
This semester Bard will operate as a restricted campus, with Bard facilities open only to students, faculty and staff, and a small number of approved visitors on a limited basis for essential civic activities such as elections, where visitors will be directed to closely controlled facilities operated and cleaned in keeping with New York State and CDC approved COVID-19 protocols. The campus’s outdoor spaces will remain open to the public to engage in physically distanced activities, but access to buildings is restricted to members of the Bard community. Access to residence hall dormitories will be limited to those who reside there.
To optimize the health and well-being of our students and employees, Bard is establishing “restricted facilities”—classrooms, residence halls, laboratories, dining areas, sports facilities—that are only open to Bard students and employees. Our restricted facilities will:
- Prohibit unauthorized/nonessential visitors. We will webcast as many student artistic events as possible.
- Limit noninstructional gatherings and congregations in communal spaces.
- Limit the number of students in the classroom and provide for physical distancing.
- Designate entry and exit points for buildings.
- Adhere to sanitization and physical distancing requirements, including adequate hygiene and PPE supplies, and reduce common seating areas.
- Limit occupancy of classrooms and other public spaces on campus to 50 percent.
- Enforce physical distancing through placement of signs and barriers.
Will there be athletic team competition this fall?
The Liberty League, of which Bard is a member, announced on July 22 that its Presidents Council voted unanimously to cancel all Liberty League competition and championships through December 31, 2020, having determined that travel to and from league member campuses posed too high a risk. Bard is welcoming its student-athletes back to campus this fall and will engage in on-campus athletics activities while following all NCAA and state safety protocols and guidelines. Bard Athletics will offer individual and team training and team building activities, as well as expanded programs on such topics as leadership, diversity, and culture.
What has Bard done to prepare campus facilities for the return of students and employees?
Environmental Services conducted cleaning and sanitization of all campus facilities over the past three months. They have now implemented cleaning and disinfecting protocols across campus in accordance with CDC guidelines and OSHA guidelines. All employees who are returning to work on campus will be trained and supplied with EPA-approved cleaning/disinfecting supplies to use in their personal and shared spaces. Over 100 new sanitizing stations have been installed on campus.
Bard’s HVAC department has cleaned and/or replaced all air filters in campus filtration systems within the past six months, and will continue to do so as scheduled. The plumbing department has flushed water systems in all buildings, checked HVAC systems and replaced filters, made sure safety systems were fully operational, and all systems are in good working order.
International Students and Scholars
I’m an international student and I plan to take courses remotely in the fall. How will online classes affect my I-20 and visa status?
Many of our international students will be unable to attend classes in person in Annandale in the fall, due to travel restrictions and challenges obtaining visas. We have been working hard to develop options for these students to continue with their Bard education from their overseas locations.
For students in Europe who are able to travel to Berlin, we are offering places at Bard College Berlin. For students in China, we are finalizing options with some Chinese universities so that students can take a mix of online courses through Bard and in-person courses on site in China. Through the Bard network and the Open Society University Network, we have partner institutions on five continents, and will work individually with each student on a plan that preserves their visa status and gives them the best possible access to the Bard experience. We hope to welcome all international students back to Annandale as soon as circumstances allow.
Who should I contact for information on travel restrictions to the United States?
We are closely monitoring current travel restrictions to the United States, and advise students to check the website of the U.S. Consulate in their home countries for updates on exceptions for student travel to the United States. In the meantime, we will strive to keep all of our students connected around the world. Students and families with questions should contact International Student Adviser Manishka Kalupahana (firstname.lastname@example.org or 845-758-7328) or Dean of International Studies Jennifer Murray (email@example.com or 845-758-6822 x7387).
Will taking all classes remotely jeopardize my US visa status?
On July 14, 2020, the Trump administration dropped its much-criticized plan to require international college students to leave the United States unless they are enrolled in at least one face-to-face class in the fall term. International students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities may take a full online course load in the fall without risking their visa status.
Contact Tracing FAQ
What is contact tracing?
Contact tracing is used to prevent the spread of disease by identifying those who are sick and the people with whom they have come into close contact. Bard has organized a contact tracing team to work in conjunction with the Health department to increase the speed and efficiency of the process.
Why do we need contact tracing?
Since a person may have COVID-19 and be contagious before exhibiting symptoms, or may not exhibit any symptoms at all, it is important that people who may have been exposed move quickly into quarantine to prevent the spread of the virus.
What can I expect from contact tracing if I have been diagnosed with COVID-19?
If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, a contact tracer will call you to check on your health, discuss who you’ve been in contact with, and determine whether anyone else might have been exposed. It is important to know that the contract tracing team will maintain confidentiality in all steps of the process, and your name will not be revealed to those you may have exposed, even if they ask.
What can I expect from contact tracing if I am a close contact of somebody with COVID-19?
If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, a contact tracer might contact you to inform you that you’ve been exposed to COVID-19. If it is determined that you are at risk, you should stay at home and self-quarantine for 14 days, starting from the last day you were possibly exposed to COVID-19. The contact tracing team will help identify the dates of your self-quarantine, and provide you with information on some of the resources we have available to those in quarantine on campus.
How is “close contact” defined?
Per the CDC, a “close contact” for COVID-19 is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a continuous 15 minutes, with considerations for whether or not face masks were worn or if it took place indoors or outdoors. Simply passing by someone who later tests positive does not constitute close contact.
What if I was exposed to somebody with COVID-19 but it wasn’t a “close contact”?
According to our medical consultants and state public health officials, the risk of transmission is low if you were not a close contact and if you were wearing a mask and practicing physical distancing. You should carefully monitor your health and submit a daily self screening. If you are concerned about potential exposure to COVID but you do not receive a phone call from a contact tracer, students should contact the Bard Health Service at 845-758-7433. Faculty and staff should contact their primary care physician.